Create a Dreamwidth Account
Site and Account
Reload page in style:
2017-05-08 09:50 pm (UTC)
I learned a lot by meeting a creationist's challenge to say "What evidence would convince you that evolution was wrong?" It's actually a very hard question, because I'm an evolutionary biologist, so I'm aware of a *lot* of stuff that evolution explains well. It's hard to think of a finding that would actually cast doubt on all those explanations, rather than generating a one-off explanation such as "everything else evolved, but *that* was designed, perhaps by aliens." I mean, if you showed me an organism whose genome contains a longish stretch of encoded English text, I wouldn't think that evolved, but I wouldn't question that organisms in general evolve--I'd just blame Celera. (Correctly; they are the ones who did that.)
It was easier to think in terms of an alternative hypothesis. The one I came up with was that if there is a hard line between created kinds, such that they are genetically unrelated, I would expect this to be apparent in the DNA. We have a ton of comparative data and love to compare creatures on all levels from within-species to different kingdoms. There should be a line somewhere, and by now we should have bumped up against that line in a myriad different ways. If that had happened, it would cause me to question that different taxa were actually related to each other.
In particular, if I use within-population data to train a mutational model, that model should not *work* on between-kinds data, as the variation between kinds was not produced by the same mechanism (on hypothesis) as the variation within a population.
At this point, alas, the creationist bailed from the conversation; but at least I learned something.
Thread from start
If you don't have an account you can
create one now
HTML doesn't work in the subject.
Check spelling during preview
This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.
Most Popular Tags
black hat brigade
Expand Cut Tags
No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 22nd, 2017 10:43 pm
Top of page